Inspired boxer ready for war
ROBERT Glasson-Wilesmith celebrated his 47th birthday on Monday, five days before fighting for a world kick-boxing title.
The self-proclaimed inspiration for middle-aged men everywhere couldn't be happier with his preparation for the world heavyweight kickboxing bout against American Mike Sheppard at Gold Coast's Skilled Stadium on Saturday.
"I've been sparring really well and training really well," Glasson-Wilesmith said.
"I've made the weight and am perfectly on 98kg.
"I got tested last week with a couple of good, hard sparring sessions. My punches are hard and my kicks are hard."
Glasson-Wilesmith feels well prepared for the 10 two-minute rounds he faces against Sheppard on Saturday.
"I've pulled through perfectly," he said. "It's going to be absolute war."
When Glasson-Wilesmith speaks, his mind is working overtime, so pre-occupied is he with his shot at glory.
"If I said I wasn't nervous I'd be a liar," he said.
"But I'm excited. I'm pumped."
The Mt Crosby Muay Thai master said there was no point trying not to think about the fight, because it was impossible not to.
"Everywhere I go and everything I do I see Mike Sheppard's head," he said.
"I just try to keep myself busy by going for a walk, shopping or spending time with the family.
"If I sit down and do nothing I start doing the head rounds and that's one thing you can't do."
Both fighters had to compromise with their weight, with Sheppard stepping up from the cruiserweight title he currently holds and Glasson-Wilesmith trimming down from his usual super-heavyweight.
"He's not to be sneezed at," Glasson-Wilesmith said of his foe.
"He's had over 50 fights, including boxing, kick-boxing and mixed martial arts (MMA).
"He's come here for war, not a ham sandwich. He's ranked number one in the world and I'm ranked number four. He's the real deal."
That is what Glasson-Wilesmith hopes to prove he is as well, in his professional kick-boxing debut.
He has had 15 professional fights, of which he's won 14 by knock-out, but they were all Muay Thai. That has meant a big adjustment to prepare for this fight.
"It has taken out my knees and elbows and they're my weapons," he said.
"It's really hard because when I'm in close I want to grapple and throw an elbow.
"I've got long arms and I've got to use them as levers.
"It's like a soldier who goes into battle with a bazooka, a gun and a knife. You're taking away his bazooka and his gun and leaving him with his knife.
"I've had to work on my weaknesses and build up my boxing skills.
"I've always had the kicks but I've really adapted."
The Thunder Down Under card features one other world title fight, an intercontinental title fight. It covers the disciplines of Muay Thai, boxing, kick-boxing and MMA.
How Robert Glasson- Wilesmith keeps in top shape.
Morning tea: protein shakes.
Lunch: chicken and rice or pasta.
Afternoon tea: fruit, protein shakes.
Dinner: fish and steamed vegetables.